Are Your Customers Calling a Place That Always Knows Their Name? by Joe Gagnon, SVP & General Manager, Cloud Solutions Aspect
I’m not much of a TV watcher. These days I consume most of my video from the 25 or so YouTube channels I subscribe to. But there are a few television programs that stick with me. Cheers, the 80s sitcom set in Boston, is one of those shows. I spent a part of my early career in Boston so it was hard to avoid the notoriety the show brought the city. Cheers also had one of the most memorable theme songs of any show in its day, sitcom or drama. You know how it goes:
“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.”
And for the past ten years, or so, I used the song as the inspiration for how we should think about the consumer experience. Think about it for a minute – don’t we love it when people know who we are and treat us like we matter? Of course we do – but alas it seems that this feeling of “know me” is fleeting and I dare say that the Cheers song is the last one you sung (in your head of course) after your most recent customer service experience. Case in point, we at Aspect conducted a consumer survey and found that 68% of the consumers we asked said that their top customer service frustration was repeating themselves multiple times to multiple people. That means two out of every three of you weren’t doing much of any singing.
I am sure that this “situation” comes up in your life all too often. For me, I think about the song nearly every time I check into the hotel I stay in every time I go to Phoenix.
I’m a bit of a workout enthusiastic. Some may say fanatic. Let’s compromise and just say I’m a very disciplined fitness routine practitioner. Because of this I stay at the same hotel every time I’m in Phoenix, primarily because they have my favorite piece of equipment, a pull up bar, and since I do a lot of pull ups, I stay at this hotel a lot. (We won’t divulge their name because they are a customer of ours).
But as much as I stay there, every time I check-in they ask “Is this your first stay with us?” I am tempted to reply, “Well if you don’t count the two nights I was here last week or the couple of times I stayed here the month before that or the ten or so other times I was here, then yes, this is my first stay with you.”
It’s amazing how something as small as a personal greeting (or lack thereof) can make such a positive or negative impression. If we simply acknowledge the customers who we service and show them that we not only “know them” but we use their history with us to personalize the experience it would make their service interaction a whole lot better. In this case, my “favorite” hotel has what I want so they will get me back there soon enough but boy would it be nice if they did recognize me next time I came there. I might even refer others to the hotel if this happened. 🙂
Think about your own customer service delivery. Would your customers say they are calling a place that always knows their name? When your service representatives answer a chat or respond to a tweet, do they give your customers the sense that you are glad they came? I think we all have a bit of work to do – the good news is that it is not really that hard, and the opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and business performance are high and what could be better than that?
Joe Gagnon is SVP & General Manager, Cloud Solutions at Aspect